Facilitating the authoring of multimedia social problem solving skills instructional modules
Boujarwah, Fatima Abdulazeez
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Difficulties in social skills are generally considered defining characteristics of High-Functioning Autism (HFA). These difficulties interfere with the educational experiences and quality of life of individuals with HFA, and interventions must be highly individualized to be effective. I explore ways technologies may play a role in assisting individuals with the acquisition of social problem solving skills. This thesis presents the design, development, and evaluation of two systems; Refl-ex, which is a collection of multimedia instructional modules designed to enable adolescents with HFA to practice social problem solving skills, and REACT, a system to facilitate the authoring of a wider variety of instructional modules. The authoring tool is designed to help parents, teachers, and other stakeholders to create Refl-ex-like instructional modules. The approach uses models of social knowledge created using crowdsourcing techniques to provide the authors with support throughout the authoring process. A series of studies were conducted to inform the design of high-fidelity prototypes of each of the systems and to evaluate the prototypes. The contributions of this thesis are: 1) the creation of obstacle-based branching, an approach to developing interactive social skills instructional modules that has been evaluated by experts to be an improvement to current practices; 2) the development of an approach to building models of social knowledge that can be dynamically created and expanded using crowdsourcing; and 3) the development a system that gives parents and other caregivers the ability to easily create customized social skills instructional modules for their children and students.